Dogs and cats can test positive but can't pass on coronavirus - GulfToday

Dogs and cats can test positive but can’t pass on coronavirus


A dog covered from head to tail takes a walk with its owner.

Gulf Today Report

Pet cats and dogs cannot pass the new coronavirus to humans, but they can test positive for low levels of the pathogen if they catch it from their owner.

This was revealed by Hong Kong's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department after a dog in quarantine tested weak positive for the virus using the canine's nasal and oral cavity samples.

A spokesman for the department was quoted saying, "There is currently no evidence that pet animals can be a source of infection of COVID-19 or that they become sick."

Scientists suspect the virus known as SARS-CoV-2 that causes the disease originated in bats before passing it on to another species, possibly a small wild mammal that passed it on to humans.

However, experts from different departments of different universities in Hong Kong have agreed that the dog has a low level of infection and "it is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission."

The dog, and another also in quarantine which has tested negative for the virus, will be tested again before being released. The departments suggested any pets, including dogs and cats, from households where someone has tested positive for the virus should be put into quarantine.

In general, pet owners should maintain good hygiene, including washing hands before and after handling animals, their food and supplies and no kissing them. People who are sick should avoid contact with pets and a veterinarian's advice should be sought if changes in a pet's health conditions are detected.

"Apart from maintaining good hygiene practices, pet owners need not be overly concerned and under no circumstances should they abandon their pets," the spokesman added.

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